UK Parliamentary debates human rights situation in Iran

The House of Commons in the United Kingdom on June 28 debated the human rights issue in Iran. British members of Parliament also discussed the slow progress of the matter since the nuclear agreement reached last year.

The Conservative MP for Hendon, Dr. Matthew Offord, said it was an error to separate nuclear talks from Iran’s human rights violations and assistance for terrorists. He considers that a lost chance in addition to giving a flawed message.

Suppressing free speech and political dissidence has increased with numerous arrests of union leaders, human rights and opposition supporters and journalists under the pretext of national security threats. Many are still in prison facing possible torture.

The plight of Jafar Azimzadeh, one of many political prisoners, and who for more than two months has refused to eat, was taken up as well as the plight of Narges Mohammadi, who has been denied access to her medicine, and Saleh Kohandel, tortured and restricted to solitary confinement for close to a decade for assisting the People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI or MEK), the main opposition group.

During Hassan Rouhani’s presidency, Iran’s execution rate burgeoned over the past eight years, according to MPs. Estimates place the number at 2,400 (also counting women and minors) in three years. Since 2015, 1,000 people were killed by a UN estimate.

Our government was swindled, said Conservative MP Mike Freer. The British government removed sanctions as a way to end repression but there has been an increase in deaths, persecution continues and, opposition is smothered.

Fellow Conservative MP, Dr. Roger Gale, appealed for international support of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI to overthrow the Iranian government.

There’s a suspicion money generated during the nuclear agreement will supply the government-controlled Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), deemed by the United States as a terrorist organization.

Margaret Ferrier and Dr Philippa Whitford, SNP MPs, refreshed Parliament’s memory concerning the hard realities for Iranian women and girls: girl as young as nine can be pressured into marriage with adult men, women can be refused accommodation, food for refusing their marital duties, or whipped for an error in wearing the hijab incorrectly.

Offord does not agree human rights violations are the actions of hardliners who can’t be controlled by Rouhani. He and his government have never criticized or put some distance between themselves, the executions and public executions, he said. Instead, Rouhani has agreed with using the death penalty.

A Free Iran rally will be held on July 9, in Paris, attended by politicians, world leaders and the supporters of the Iranian opposition PMOI.

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams said he has attended the annual gathering in Paris sponsored by the National Council of Resistance of Iran and will do so again this year.

The approach to Iran should include an energetic and straight dialogue with opposition groups who favor democratic change and essential human rights. People appreciate that the PMOI and Madam Maryam Rajavi are fighting for a change to democracy. She had said that which is also strengthened by the 10-point programme we have become aware of, he said.

A delegation of British MPs plan to join the Iranian Resistance’s annual Free Iran rally in Paris on July 9.